The Indian National Congress reacted strongly today to a comment made by NCP chief Sharad Pawar about former INC president Rahul Gandhi. INC leader and cabinet minister in the Uddhav Thackeray government Yashomati Thakur said on 5 December if the parties of Maha Vikas Aghadi wanted to keep the Maharashtra government stable, they would have to stop making wrong remarks on top INC leaders.
The NCP has clarified that Sharad Pawar’s comment was only “the advice from a fatherly leader”.
Earlier, Thakur had tweeted, “Being a working president of MPCC I must appeal (sic) colleagues in MVA if you want (a) stable govt in Maharashtra then stop commenting (on the) leadership of (the) Congress. Everybody should follow (the) basic rules of (a) coalition.”
Pawar is a fatherly figure: Shiv Sena
Thakur said in another tweet, “Our leadership is very strong and stable. Formation of MVA is (a) result of our strong belief in democratic values.”
Thakur was reacting to the remark of Pawar who had questioned Rahul Gandhi’s ability as a leader.
Sharad Pawar had said in an interview to Marathi newspaper Lokmat on 4 December, “There are some questions here. There seems to be less consistency,” when asked if the people of the country were willing to accept Rahul Gandhi’s leadership.
Thakur, working president of Maharashtra Congress and minister in the Mahavikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, said if the NCP head wanted a stable government in Maharashtra, he should stop spreading “misinformation” on the top leaders of the INC. “Everybody must follow the rules of an alliance. The Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra has been built on the basis of democratic values,” she said.
The Shiv Sena, on the other hand, termed the remarks made on Rahul Gandhi as “guidance” from Pawar. Party MP Sanjay Raut said that Sharad Pawar was a “very big leader”. “If a veteran leader like him makes a comment about another politician, it should be considered his guidance,” Raut said.
The Maharashtra government run by the coalition of the Shiv Sena, NCP and INC, called the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), completed a year on 28 November. It was formed after the 2019 assembly election where the BJP contested with the Sena as an ally and emerged as the single largest party. However, the two parties chose a different route due to differences in portfolio distribution in general and occupant of the chief minister’s office in particular. Shiv Sena then joined hands with the NCP and INC to form government in Maharashtra.
The BJP had won 105 seats in the Maharashtra assembly election held last year. The Shiv Sena secured 56 seats. NCP won 54 seats and INC 44 seats.